Dillards was founded in 1938 by William T. Dillard in Nashville, Arkansas.
In 1956, Dilliard led a group of investors that purchased a department store in Tyler, Texas. The store became Dillard’s Mayer & Schmidt.
In 1960, a failing store was acquired in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 1969, the company went public as Dillard Department Stores, Inc.
The chain expanded rapidly in the 1970s mainly through locations in shopping malls. In 1971, 5 Fedway stores were acquired.
The chain continued to expand through acquisitions in the 80s and 90s including Joske’s, Cain-Sloan and Higbee’s.
Today, Dilliard’s is a mid to upscale department store chain with over 300 locations in 29 US states.